Over the past decade or so, video game competitions, also known as eSports, have been becoming more and more popular. Some events have even surpassed the NBA Finals in terms of ratings. ESPN2 has hopped on board with featuring a Street Fighter V tournament last Summer. Heck, even the Big Ten has its own League of Legends competitions.
Full Bloom 3, which took place at the Indiana Memorial Union last weekend, was no exception to the rule.
Outside, last Saturday was just like any other beautiful Spring day at IU, featuring showers that eventually turned to rainbows. But competitors and fans were both willing to stay indoors to witness the competition that was taking place at Alumni Hall.
Full Bloom 3 was the third annual spring tournament of the Super Smash Brothers community here in Bloomington. Players from all across the country came to the IMU to complete, including high caliber eSports competitors such as Leffen, Axe, Swedish Delight, and, most notably, Hungrybox.
FB3 featured two live broadcasted streams, cash prizes, professional Super Smash Bros. Melee players, and Alumni Hall filled to the brim with players and fans alike. Many local players were featured as well, which was highlighted by a five-on-five crew battle between IU and Purdue players. This event was notable, since it’s part of one of the biggest Super Smash Bros. tournaments run at university by students.
At the end of the day of the day, the champion of the Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament was the aforementioned Hungrybox, who won in a commanding fashion by sweeping a best of five game series against Duck. The success of Hungrybox and Duck in the event showed that this was a big-time competition with a huge reach, as neither of these two are from the area. Hungrybox came all the way to FB3 from his native Orlando, while Duck hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
While many have expressed concern about bringing in eSports with traditional sports programming, last weekend’s event let it be known that eSports have already hit the Bloomington campus. Maybe in the next few years, Full Bloom will be one of the marquee events featured at IU. Either way, this is an event that students should keep their eye on.